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Old 11-20-2012, 12:40 PM   #30
Location: Massachusetts
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 3,184
Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Ryan Schoelerman wrote: View Post
To build further upon what Phi Truong's post.

Your question can open HUGE diverging lines of discussion and analysis, such as theories put forth in Guns, Germs and Steel and the evolution of society. Philosophical differences that developed between the Occident vs Orient - i.e. Cartesian Duality that developed in the West versus the philosophies of looking inward such as Buddhism, Taosim, Yoga's etc.
That's true, but I think it needs some clarification. Specifically, I think as soon as you introduce the term "philosophical differences", many people think of anything philosophical as somehow disconnected from the practical real-world context and its determining influences that is the central theme of Guns. The philosophical differences arose from the conditions that created everything else (more varieties of useful domestic animals, more nutritious crops, greater exposure to disease, geographic factors that helped or hindered the spread of all of the above and more, etc.). How they turned out to be exactly as they are...well, as you say, it's a huge discussion. I think that Guns gives us a useful, practical way to think of causes and effects. It doesn't give us simple answers though (for example, Eurasians were all on that one big east-west-oriented land mass, so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?).
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